By: Sarah Vahlkamp
The funny thing about love is that it happens unplanned, and yet seems to have the most perfectly planned timing.
Jill Pioter ’00 came to Quincy University as a freshman looking for direction in which major to declare. As she sat in the car with her mother on her way to the Registration Advisement Program Session (RAP), now referred to as Connect Days, she decided she would enter QU with an undecided major and make a decision after taking a few classes. Little did she know, it would only take one look at the love of her life to help decide her future.
It was a sunny June morning, and the new students were asked to join the group that fit the major they wanted to pursue. Jill was about to join the undeclared majors when the leader of the English majors caught her eye.
“The boy’s name was Dominic, and he was so passionate about being a QU English major. He had an open spirit, a warm smile, and beautiful brown eyes. He made me excited at the prospect of spending the next four years reading great books, and getting to write and talk about them with other students,” said Jill.
Dominic Geinosky Pioter ’99 and Jill were separated as the students met with their advisers to go over class schedules. Jill met with Dr. Joe Messina, and the meeting went longer than expected so by the time she was able to go to lunch, Jill and her mother were the last people in line. Dominic saw them standing behind and entered the conversation, leaving Jill more and more interested in getting to know him better. After RAP, Dominic and Jill went their separate ways while occasionally meeting at parties and around campus, stealing glances across the cafeteria. Finally, in April of 2001, Dominic asked her on a dinner and movie date. “We went out to dinner and watched Romeo & Juliet,” said Jill, “pretty perfect for two English majors.”
After the first date, the two were inseparable until Dominic returned home for summer break. To keep in contact, the couple wrote each other letters through the mail.
“I love that our early courtship was in love letters; I still have them tucked away somewhere. Emails and texts just aren’t the same,” said Jill.
Jill and Dominic continued to date throughout college and after Dominic graduated in 1999, he moved to Hannibal to teach and stay close to Jill until she graduated. A week after her graduation, Dominic got down on one knee and proposed to Jill at the Quincy Riverfront. The couple married in the QU Chapel in June 2003, and welcomed their baby boy, Jude, in 2012. They currently reside in St. Louis, Missouri, and will be celebrating their thirteenth wedding anniversary this year.
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